Football: Sampdoria ready to sell Platt for pounds 4.75m

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Blackburn Rovers and Manchester United, strangely dormant in the transfer market so far, are likely to be stirred into action after David Platt was made available for transfer yesterday.

Sampdoria have agreed a fee of pounds 4.75m for the England captain with two unidentified clubs, one of which is from the Premiership, and Platt said he will decide whether to leave after a holiday in Sardinia. "It will take a lot - and I don't mean financial - to persuade me to leave Genoa," he said.

United - who released Platt on a free transfer 10 years ago - Everton, Aston Villa and Blackburn have been linked with the 29-year-old midfielder, whose moves total a world-record pounds 17.4m. Internazionale, purchasers of Paul Ince for pounds 7.5m two weeks ago, are also understood to be interested.

"I met the Sampdoria president, Enrico Mantovani, on Friday," Platt said, "and he told me that he had agreed terms with two clubs and I was welcome to speak to them. He also indicated that other clubs, English and Italian, had made enquiries, but had not agreed a transfer fee."

Newcastle United, who have already spent pounds 10m this summer on Les Ferdinand and Warren Barton, hope to increase that figure to pounds 13m by buying David Ginola from Paris St-Germain. Kevin Keegan agreed a fee of pounds 3m last month for the 28-year-old French international, who has also interested Celtic, but the deal fell through when the player's terms could not be agreed.

However, the wages of another potential target, Juventus' Roberto Baggio, (around pounds 50,000 a week) forced a change of mind. Baggio announced yesterday that he will have talks with Milan this week to discuss a pounds 12m move.

One man all but completing a move was Alan Ball, who will become Manchester City's 20th post-war manager once compensation is reached with his former club, Southampton. Ball agreed a three-year deal worth around pounds 450,000 after interrupting a holiday in Spain to fly to meet the Maine Road chairman, Francis Lee, yesterday. "Alan has done wonders at Southampton," Lee said, "and will do wonders here. He's a winner and I think he will be good for Manchester City."

Terry Westley was elevated from youth-team coach to caretaker-manager of Luton Town. The appointment will become permanent when Sheffield Wednesday agree a fee for taking David Pleat to Hillsborough. Mick McGiven, the former Ipswich team manager, becomes first-team coach at Kenilworth Road.

Today's graduation ceremony at the FA's National School at Lilleshall has been postponed after the death yesterday of one of its pupils, Everton's John Marshall. The 16-year-old died in Ormskirk Hospital after being taken ill last week.

Bruce Grobbelaar, Hans Segers and John Fashanu will report to Hampshire police today to find out whether they will be charged over allegations of match-rigging. The trio, who have proclaimed their innocence, were arrested for questioning in March, but were released without charge.